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Drinking Water


Middlesex London Health Unit - Sodium in Dorchester's Water Supply

Middlesex London Health Unit - Sodium in Thorndale's Water Supply

Middlesex London Health Unit - Elevated Fluoride Levels in Thorndale's Water Supply


The Municipality of Thames Centre owns and operates two municipal drinking water systems which are supplied by groundwater wells. Our systems produce safe, high quality drinking water for the communities of Dorchester and Thorndale. In 2017, the municipality delivered over 450,000 cubic meters of water to over 4,800 customers.


Image of the Thames Centre water treatment plant on Dorchester Rd   Image of the Thames Centre water treatment plant in Thorndale

Dorchester Water Treatment Facility


Thorndale Water Treatment Facility


Water is critical to all aspects of our lives. It is important that we ensure there is a safe and reliable source of water - now and in the future. Our Municipal drinking water comes from underground sources (aquifers). All of these sources of water are linked in a watershed through the water cycle. Long-term problems can develop that can be costly.

The Municipality has established a long term plan to service the Thorndale and Dorchester urban areas through the Water and Wastewater Master Plan. This plan was last updated for the Thames Centre water system in 2008.

In 2010, the Municipality received funding for the proposed Thorndale Business Park. This expedited the requirements for additional water storage. Based on these changes, a Class EA Addendum report has been prepared that includes a review of the projected Thorndale populations, water demands and potential EST locations, which were described in the 2008 Master Plan, in comparison to new population information. The following links document the completed Phase 1 and 2 Environmental Assessment process:

Properties on the Dorchester and Thorndale Systems are billed based on the metered water consumption. Residential, Commercial and Industrial properties are billed bi-monthly. Water and Wastewater consumption rates are listed below. Please note that as consumption rises, the cost also increases moderately.

The below rates came into effect on February 12, 2018.

  Water Charge Wastewater Charge Catherine St Sewage System
Water/Wastewater Service Including First 14 Cubic Meters $34.11 $82.58 $44.27
Next 15 to 50 Cubic Meters $1.86 per cubic meter $4.53 per cubic meter $2.41 per cubic meter
Balance Over 50 Cubic Meters $2.53 per cubic meter $6.19 per cubic meter $3.29 per cubic meter
Fixed Fee - Fire Protection
Unserviced Properties Only
$13.65 n/a n/a
Life Cycle Charge $21.44  n/a  n/a


NOTE: The water consumption rates and life cycle charge are indexed on January 1st of each year according to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

Th Fixed Fee - Fire Protection charge is to recover the water system fire protection costs from properties benefitting from the service but not yet connected to the water system.

A service charge of $35.00 will be applied to an account for which any payment is dishonoured by a bank for any reason.

Upon default of payment, the entire amount of any balance owing becomes immediately due and payable and may be collected by any means permitted by legislation.

  • Termination of Service
    If you are moving, or intend to demolish a residential/ commercial building, please contact the water billing department at 268-7334 ext. 224 to make arrangements for a final meter reading or removal of the meter. Please call 10 days in advance.
    Please note that a 1.25% per month late fee is applied to all bills paid after due date.
  • Pay By Mail
    To facilitate payment and avoid penalties for late payment postdated cheques to the due dates are accepted. Cheques are made payable to Municipality of Thames Centre.
  • Pay At Your Bank
    Payments can also be made via Telephone or Internet at most banking institutions. Please contact your bank for more information.
  • Pay In Person
    Payments can be made at our cashier counter during regular business hours (Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.), located at 4305 Hamilton Road, Dorchester. We accept payment by cash, cheque, debit card, or money order. We do not accept credit cards.
  • Drop Off Box
    An after hours drop-off box is provided for your convenience at the Municipal Office at 4305 Hamilton Road, Dorchester. Payments can be dropped in this box 24 hours a day.
  • Pre-authorized Payments
    Pre-authorized payment form


The Following are Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) from our water customers:

Q: How do I get my water line located?

A: Contact Ontario One-Call at 1-800-400-2255

Q: Will the Municipality work on my plumbing?

A: Please be aware that no work will be performed by the Municipal staff on private property with the exception of repair and maintenance of the water meter in your home.

Q: What do I do if I have a sand point?

A: Please register your sand points with water services and adhere to the odd/even watering schedule.

Q: What is the odd-even water restriction?

A: Non-essential water use is limited to the odd/even system during the months of May, June, July, August and September. Non-essential water use refers to lawn watering, filling pools, washing vehicles etc. If your street address is an even number, you may use non-essential water on calendar days that are even. If it's an odd number, odd number calendar days apply.
Please note that the odd/even watering schedule has been in use for several years and is a common method used by municipalities to better manage water resources. It should not be confused with the total ban on non-essential water usage that was imposed in 1998. By-Law 40-98

Q: How is the Municipality and water use regulated?

A: We are regulated by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, which sets the maximum volume we can pump each day. In fall, winter and early spring we do not have a problem with over pumping and rarely exceed half of the allowed volume. However, during periods of heavy non-essential water usage, the system must be monitored carefully to avoid exceeding the permissible volumes.

Q: Why is non-essential water use important?

A: As an example of non-essential use, 2007 was a very dry year. The volume of water pumped by the Dorchester well fields during the month of February 2007 was 31,664 cubic metres. The volume for June 2007 was dramatically higher at 69,992 cubic metres. The increased pumping was primarily due to non-essential water usage, such as watering lawns and gardens, washing cars and filling pools.

Q: Why manage supply and demand?

A: Under normal circumstances the municipal water supply is more than adequate for our needs. We can easily maintain a full reserve of water in the reservoirs and tower to ensure a proper amount of pressure in the system. During a drought, as was the case in 2005, the situation can change dramatically during the late spring, summer or early fall months when heavy non-essential water usage takes place. The demand on the system can quickly rise to an unsustainable level. Eventually, if the situation were allowed to continue the tower volume would decrease in equal proportion to the amount of water being used that exceeds the system's pumping capacity. This process would inevitably result in zero water reserve and poor line pressure. When that situation occurs a total ban on non-essential water use is implemented and strictly enforced. This is necessary to insure an adequate supply of water for essential use and emergency purposes.

Q: Where do we get our water?

A: Dorchester's water supply comes from ground water wells located just south of town on the east side of Dorchester Rd. There are currently nine wells providing our water, with a combined total capacity of 6,912 cubic metres (1,825,943 gal) per day. The Dorchester water supply is treated with chlorine and disinfected with UV light.
Thorndale is supplied by two wells with a total capacity of 1,440 cubic metres (380,404 gal) per day. The water is treated with chlorine and sodium silicate.

Q: What is the hardness of my water?

A: Periodically we receive calls from residents with questions as to the level of 'hardness' of their municipal drinking water.  This information is needed in order to set-up a residential water softener.  The MOECC aesthetic objective for water hardness is 80-100mg/L. Both the Dorchester and Thorndale water systems are supplied from groundwater wells, and the water is considered 'hard'.

The water hardness (CACO3) in the distribution system is as follows:

Dorchester Water Distribution System..........................................267mg/L or 15.61 grains of hardness

Thorndale Water Distribution System............................................262mg/L or 15.32 grains of hardness

These results were from samples taken on February 18, 2014.

Q: How does the Municipality use and deliver water?

A: The chart below depicts water consumption by category for 2017. The percentage representing customer use is the highest. Maintenance is water used through hydrant flushing, system maintenance, or new main construction.



2017 Water Consumption - Dorchester 2017 Water Consumption - Thorndale


Q: Can I see the Dorchester and Thorndale Drinking Water System's Annual Reports?

A: Yes, the annual reports are posted below.

Dorchester Water System

Dorchester Annual Report 2018

Thorndale Water System

Thorndale Annual Report 2018


Through the Clean Water Act, a local committee has been established to guide the process to develop a Source Protection Plan to protect municipal sources of drinking water. The Source Protection Plan will determine areas that are vulnerable, identify potential threats and develop plans to deal with the threats to our drinking water sources.

In this area, the Upper Thames River, Lower Thames Valley and St. Clair Region Conservation Authorities have partnered together to work with the Source Protection Committee to coordinate the development of Source Protection Plans for our watersheds. We are committed to work with our municipalities, other stakeholders and the public to develop Source Protection Plans that serve to protect our drinking water while taking into account the other needs of our communities.

Drinking Water Source Protection - Act for Clean Water


The Safe Drinking Water Act requires every water system to implement the Drinking Water Quality Management Standard (DWQMS).  The DWQMS promotes a proactive and preventative approach to assuring drinking water quality.

Below is the Municipality of Thames Centre's DWQMS policy...

Municipality of Thames Centre DWQMS Policy

The Province of Ontario requires all owners of municipal residential drinking water systems to prepare Financial Plans that detail the system’s financial information projected forward for at least six years. The following Financial Plan includes income statements (which set out revenues and expenses), as well as balance sheets (which include financial assets, non-financial assets, total liabilities, cash flow, etc).

Thames Centre Ontario Regulation 453/07 Financial Plan


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